FLYING dirt, roaring motorbikes and big smiles marked the return of one of Chinchilla's biggest annual fundraising events.
The Chinchilla State School P&C exceeded expectations at the weekend, drawing 583 riders to the polocrosse grounds for the high-octane spectacle.
Riders came from as far as Charleville, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Brisbane to enjoy a rough, noisy and high-speed tour of the rivers and scrub to Chinchilla's south.
At early estimations, the hugely popular event looks to have raised more than $30,000 towards Chinchilla State School.
In a new approach this year riders had a choice of two loops spanning 10 farming properties and crossing Raftery's Rd, connected by a fuel and food pit stop.
Whether opting for the easy-going River Loop (25km) or the 60km open country challenge (60km), riders were safe in the hands of recovery crews and sweeping rider patrols, led by Ian Kerr.
Event co-ordinator Katrina McDonald said riders gave the new two-loop option a big tick of approval, while a custom-build Enduro-Cross track also got the participants talking.
The Enduro-Cross track - essentially an obstacle course for trail bikes - tested the skills of riders and provided an opportunity for increased spectator involvement, which is usually restricted given the long-distance nature of trail rides.
There were stacks, bogs, squealing tyres and plumes of acrid smoke and mud as the riders showed off for the spectators in the arena; on Saturday alone, more than 60 bikers attacked the track.
While for veterans it was just another weekend, for first-time rider Gerard Bellgrove it was a chance to finally put his bike to good use - with his mates "babysitting" from behind, of course.
Mrs McDonald thanked land owners, volunteers and the whole Chinchilla community for its support.
"It's great that people continue to support the event, regardless of whether or not they have children at the school," she said.
However, the weekend did not finish without incident.
RACQ CareFlight airlifted 16-year-old Ashley Davis from Jandowae from the event after he came off his bike after hitting a rock.
Ashley suffered an internal injury but returned home to rest on Tuesday where he was expected to make a full recovery.
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